Hello fellow festive sewers!
My South African mum left for Cape Town today for two weeks. So she needed to get her Christmas shirt early! She and I went shopping a couple of months ago to the Cloth House where she spotted this elephant Indian block print cotton. I was being boring, steering her towards more neutral small prints, but she knows what she likes, and she was absolutely right!
Elephants for Mum feel particularly right (and I was reminded watching her pack today that she already has another elephant shirt!) - not only does she love them, but they are a presence in the area of South Africa she has spent most time in, the Western Cape. For many years Mum's home was near Knysna, and there is a beautiful novel by Dalene Matthee, Circles in a Forest, a cry for conservation and the last remaining elephants there. So I'm thinking of this as Mum's good luck Circles in a Forest shirt...
This is my third time making the Deer & Doe Mélilot shirt, and my love for this pattern continues strong. I love everything about it; the fit is loose but still flattering, and I really like the mandarin collar option. I made this one with long sleeves as requested by this elephant fan, and I am pretty thrilled with my first finished placket effort. The instructions are clear and helpful, and though I scratched my head a bit for sure, but I'm dead proud of how they came out.
As with my last two versions, I sewed up a straight size 38 and made no adjustments. We left off the pockets so as not to interrupt these tusky dudes! I French-seamed the lot, and when I was tempted to bodge that and overlock the seams I reminded myself that it was a present for Mum and that kept me honest...!
She seems to love it, and I think she looks so very lovely in it, it makes me proud of her, and the shirt!! What a wonderful thing sewing is, to be able to cover the people you love in tokens of that love. Especially if the tokens are all-over elephants!
Merry Christmas everyone!